The Vidor Pirates were not able to find their first district win Friday night against the Ozen Panthers as they lost 41-21.
The Pirates had a 21-20 lead midway through the third quarter but the craftiness of Josh Boyd helped the Panthers score 21 unanswered points to seal the victory.
Boyd was the heart of the Panthers offense as it seemed that no one could get a grip on him to bring him to the turf. Boyd rushed for 194 yards, with many of those yards coming off of broken plays. Boyd also was able to find seven different receivers to total 210 yards passing.
The Pirates (2-3, 0-2) were led by Sage Smith as he contributed big plays on both sides of the ball. Smith rushed for 130 yards on 19 carries and produced a 52-yard pick six on defense. Jeremy Stephenson also had a big night adding 67 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
After both teams offenses were quickly run off the field on their first possessions, the Panthers (1-4, 1-1) got on the board first just four minutes into the game when Boyd completed a 12-yard pass to Ceasar. The snap on the point after was a little wild and the Pirates’ Marcus Moore took down the place holder before he could find any options.
After both teams traded another series, the Panthers found themselves just 13 yards away from a second touchdown after recovering a Pirate fumble. Just three plays later Boyd found the end zone on a three yard run. The Panthers converted the two point conversion for a 14-0 lead with 10:33 remaining in the second quarter.
With just four minutes left in the first half the Pirate offense began to show its first signs of life. After taking over on the Panther 22 yard line, they strung together a nine-play drive that was capped off with a thee yard run from Jeremy Stephenson. Sage Smith contributed 37 yards rushing on the drive on just three carries. Michael Tamayo’s kick moved the score to 14-7 with only 55 seconds until the halftime buzzer.
On the following drive the Panthers were looking to regain some momentum going into the half until the Pirates Sage Smith jumped the route to intercept the ball behind the line of scrimmage. Smith took it 52 yards to the house with no one giving chase. Tamayo’s kick tied the game at 14 with nine seconds until half time.
After the Pirates went three and out to start the second half ,the Panthers set up on the Pirates 19-yard line. On the second play of the drive Boyd dumped the ball off to Rodney Randal on a screen pass that resulted in an 83 yard touchdown pass. The Panthers would fail on the 2-point conversion attempt leaving the score at 20-14.
The Pirates answered right back on the following possession as Jeremy Stephenson found the end zone after a 20 yard tote. Tamayo’s kick gave the Pirates their only lead of the night with 7:17 remaining in the third quarter.
For the rest of the night the Pirates could not catch a break while the Panthers strung together 21 unanswered points on only three possessions. The Pirate offenses only picked up three first downs on their final five possessions as the Panthers went on to win 41-21.
Next week the Pirates will travel to Lumberton.